AGFUND Approves the Funding of 16 Projects, and Ups Annual Prize to 500,000 USD
The Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND) approved participation in the funding of 16 projects in a number of developing countries. The decision was the upshot of the administration committee 60th meeting, held in the AGFUND headquarters in Riyadh on December 21st, 2008. The meeting was presided over, on behalf of HRH Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, by HE engineer Yusuf Ben Ibrahim, vice president of AGFUND, AGFUND KSA representative, Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) board chairman and the general director of the Saudi Fund for Development. The meeting endorsed project budgets for the fiscal year 2009, as well as the budget of the AGFUND Prize, at the onset of its 11th year, boosting it to 500,000 USD. The meeting also approved the proposed amendments; adding a fourth category to be devoted to governmental projects. Additionally, AGFUND administrative budget was also approved during the meeting. During the meeting, the committee reviewed projects submitted before AGFUND for funding. Eight projects were found to meet the AGFUND criteria, and were thus endorsed. Approved projects were presented by national and international organizations; such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations University (UNU). The meeting likewise approved the financing of 5 Arab NGO projects, in addition to 3 other projects, one of them is a project for an Arab government, another is for an Arab regional institution and a third for the Bank for the Poor. Approved projects focused on the development of early childhood, supporting women and children victims of violence, offering training on health and environmental issues, fighting poverty in the countryside, protecting the rights of immigrant workforce, qualifying female teachers, eliminating negative social phenomenon and enhancing the gender culture. AGFUND had referred to the grave consequences of the food crisis as well as the other agriculture-related crises and their implications on poor communities, when it announced (Development of Agriculture through Technology) as subject for AGFUND International Prize 2009, in an endeavor to come up with creative solutions that would serve to enhance agriculture techniques and boost production. It is noteworthy that since its inception in 1980, AGFUND has taken part in financing 1,202 projects in 131 developing countries. Projects spanned the following areas: health, education, institution building, and private development. Main beneficiaries were children and women in those countries.